How do you balance logistics performance and environmental responsibility?

Case study: Louis Vuitton Supply Chain certification

BRIEF

  • Objective:
    Deploy Louis Vuitton’s commitment to exemplary environmental performance around the world by embedding it in the company’s supply chain.
  • Strategy:
    Integrate environmental criteria – via certification – directly in Louis Vuitton’s supply chain policy, including all the company’s transportation and logistics partners.
  • Results:
    Louis Vuitton’s Supply Chain for leather goods – from shipments by workshops to delivery to stores – received ISO 14001 certification in 2013.

 

© Louis Vuitton / Jean-Philippe Caulliez

CLOSE-UP

Louis Vuitton has been defined by a pioneering spirit since its founding in 1854, making it natural that the House also be a trailblazer in environmental performance. Achieving certification for the Supply Chain thus carries on this legacy. In 2013 Louis Vuitton became the first French company to earn ISO 14001 certification (the global benchmark Environmental Management System) for a portion of its supply chain.

The result of more than 20 years of environmental commitment, this certification process mobilized all Louis Vuitton teams, especially Supply Chain & Logistics and Environment & Innovation teams. The team also benefited from close cooperation with the LVMH Environmental Department and its auditors.

To achieve certification the team focused on two key components in the supply chain:

– Inventory and supplies: precise management of sales forecasts and inventory quality enables the House to use maritime shipping for part of its international shipments;

– Logistics and transportation: Louis Vuitton uses external partners who are regularly challenged against environmental criteria in requests for proposals.

 

© Studio Kippik

“When the first request for proposals was issued in 2011, on the very same day we met with transportation providers we had invited to bid to explain that environmental factors were essential to our future collaboration.”

For logistics, partners work together to drive continuous improvements, mainly to reduce water, electricity and packaging consumption. All Louis Vuitton logistics platforms worldwide have now obtained ISO 14001. Two of its warehouses have also received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

The Louis Vuitton EOLE logistics center in Cergy, outside Paris, spearheaded and is emblematic of this commitment. The center integrates exemplary environmental standards with geothermal heating, enhanced building insulation, and filtering of rain and wastewater. All Louis Vuitton logistics centers also combine respect for the environment with optimal working conditions for employees.

 

© Studio Kippik

“ Green Supply Chain is not an isolated issue but an integral component in Louis Vuitton’s relationships with suppliers and every bit as important as other factors.”

For product transportation, environmental impact is included right from the first request for proposals sent to a dozen service providers. The RFP is written in collaboration with the Logistics department, but also includes input from specialists in customs clearance, finance and security. Selected transport partners must then provide comprehensive reporting on their compliance with ISO 14001 norms.

Concretely, every effort is made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Louis Vuitton asks its transport partners to train their drivers in eco-driving, give priority to nonstop flights with a low carbon footprint and whenever possible use trucks compliant with the Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards (either hybrid or electric) for the final delivery kilometers to stores, whether in Paris, Tokyo or Hong Kong.

© Louis Vuitton / Nicolas Turini & Eric Fenot

To monitor environmental performance, each zone where Louis Vuitton is present around the world has an internal environmental representative who has direct contact with suppliers for key environmental issues. Thanks to this proactive and ongoing environmental commitment, supply chain certification is now a reality at Louis Vuitton.

Key figures

  • 2013 CERTIFICATION OF LOUIS VUITTON SUPPLY CHAIN
  • 9 LOUIS VUITTON LOGISTICS PLATFORMS, ALL CERTIFIED
  • 1 A UNIQUE TOOL TO MEASURE CO2 EMISSIONS FROM TRANSPORTATION